Festivities often fill the winter holiday season. Families gather to give thanks over a bountiful meal, celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and welcome the New Year. How wonderful it is when excitement and joy permeate the atmosphere!
Sometimes, however, we may find ourselves wondering about what’s happening and what we are doing at a particular family gathering. Our thinking can become fuzzy, and that’s not because we’ve had too much eggnog to drink. Something other than goodwill and cheer can fill the air and affect our mind and actions.
Following are a few common culprits and how we can outwit them to keep our family gatherings festive:
- Bitterness – Someone present may still be angry and resentful about what happened in the past—but we don’t have to be. We can forgive the offender if we haven’t done so already. Then we can steer clear of any bitter conversation. We now have a good reason to head to the dessert table for something a little sweeter.
- Fear – Our heart can race out of fear just as well as excitement. The mention of an old threat can instantly bring negative memories to the forefront of our mind. This is the time to point out God’s perfect love and provision. According to 1 John 4:18, perfect love casts out fear. Furthermore, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).
- Insecurity – We might sense tension and question if it’s coming from us or the person nearby. Regardless of the source of the stress, we can relax. When we know who we are in Christ, we can be confident and even reach out to assure others of their worth.
This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. We have so much to celebrate. Instead of allowing bitterness, fear, and insecurity to cloud our mind and mood, let’s stay focused and spread lots of holiday cheer.